6.30.2014

Sylvan Esso in NPR’s 25 Favorite Albums Of 2014 (So Far)

An unexpected, intoxicating left-field debut, Sylvan Esso captures the sound of two equally unlikely musicians: singer Amelia Meath, known for singing a cappella folk in Mountain Man, and producer Nick Sanborn, known for playing bass in the psychedelic roots-rock band Megafaun. Neither had hinted at anything that sounds quite like this batch of intricately crafted, emotionally resonant, strikingly catchy electro-pop songs. Music this sturdy and remix-ready doesn’t generally come from such a distinct and powerful lyrical point of view: Meath’s often hauntingly ambivalent words seize just as much attention as the multidimensional sound beds on which they’re placed. “Coffee” is the most unstoppably great song here — maybe the most unstoppably great song of the year, period — but everything else on Sylvan Esso grabs hard, too, from the playful provocation of “Hey Mami” to the wobbly anthemic rush of “Play It Right.” —Stephen Thompson (NPR)

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